Celtics 105, Bucks 90

Paul Pierce wishes the Celtics could play like they did against

the Bucks every night. Rookie Brandon Jennings already wants

another shot at the bullies from Boston with more on the line.

Pierce scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half and the

Celtics beat Milwaukee 105-90 on Saturday night without Kevin

Garnett, pushing the Bucks around in the process.

“It was a big win. I wish we could come out like this every

night,” Pierce said. “We have to get some momentum going as we

head into the playoffs.”

After a rough-and-tumble game in Milwaukee last month, this one

featured more pushing and shoving late and could be a sign of

things to come in a first-round matchup in the Eastern Conference

playoffs.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles was ejected, Celtics forward Glen Davis

squared off with Kurt Thomas, and Jennings was inadvertently kicked

between the legs in the fourth quarter.

“When the playoffs start, it’s going to get crazy,” said

Jennings, who scored 19 points. “It’s going to be fun and I can’t

wait, just from the two games we’ve played them it’s going to be a

fist fight.”

It almost seemed as if one was about to break out, but the two

teams aren’t guaranteed to meet yet. Boston will either be the

third or fourth seed and Milwaukee will be either the fifth or

sixth.

The Bucks have the most sway in the situation, playing Atlanta

on Monday and at Boston on Wednesday.

Down the stretch in this one, Milwaukee missed Andrew Bogut –

sidelined for the season by hand, wrist and elbow injuries – and

again failed to win four straight without the 7-foot Australian

since drafting him No. 1 overall in 2005.

“It is a big loss,” Pierce said. “He was having an all-star

type season. He was a big part of what they did to turn their

season around. No one expected them to be in the playoffs.”

Now, the Celtics, who won for just the third time in the last

eight, might have to deal with the Bucks first in the

postseason.

“Boston is like big bullies from school,” Jennings said. “A

lot of teams don’t like that.”

If the Celtics want to make a title run, they’ll need everyone

to step and showed the Bucks they’re ready to tangle in the process

as Garnett rested to prepare.

“A couple technicals here, a couple of technicals there,”

Pierce said. “Maybe we are setting up something for a week and a

half.”

Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 10 assists, Ray Allen scored 21

points, Rasheed Wallace and Davis finished with 12 each.

The two teams have certainly irritated each other in the

previous two matchups, and Milwaukee (45-35) lost its composure

down the stretch.

“They’ve got a little bit of kind of brash overtone to their

team, obviously they’ve won a championship, so they’ve got a right

to feel that way,” said Bucks forward Jerry Stackhouse, who had 12

points. “We’re going to step up and match them every way we can.

If that’s who we wind up playing in the playoffs, it should make

for an entertaining series.”

Pierce hit three straight baskets for Boston to give the Celtics

an 88-81 lead with 3:32 to play before things turned sour.

First, Thomas grabbed two offensive rebounds, but felt he was

fouled by Davis when he tried to drive to the basket and was hit on

the head, complaining to the referees on the way back down.

He got his revenge quickly, throwing Davis to the floor on the

other end with 2:35 left and drawing a flagrant foul. Davis

received a technical when he jumped up and bumped Thomas

immediately, reminiscent of the teams’ March 9 meeting in Milwaukee

when Davis squared off with the much smaller Jennings.

The Bucks won that one 86-84 after Bogut scored 25 points.

Without Bogut, no one was able to fill the void.

“At this stage, things are getting a little more intense right

now. You’re going to have some moments like that,” Stackhouse

said. “If you’re going to get a technical, hopefully it’s a double

so nobody’s shooting any free throws.”

On the next possession, Pierce and Stackhouse got tangled up.

Stackhouse drew a foul while holding Pierce on the court.

The call enraged Skiles, who pointed at the officiating crew and

said something that drew a double technical and an ejection as

Boston sealed the win by hitting all 12 free throws after Thomas’

flagrant foul.

“I explained my side of it, although I don’t really have a

‘side,’ there was no ‘side,”’ Skiles said. “It happens. My guys

were going at it pretty hard right there and I wanted to come to

their defense.”

NOTES: The Celtics went 12 of 19 in the third quarter. … Bogut

was at the Bradley Center before the game, but left before the

locker rooms opened and has yet to speak to reporters about the

injury. … Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo was at the game hours after

he pitched in Milwaukee’s 7-1 loss to St. Louis.